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Norwegian designers Asono have released the Freebit-H1, an extremely small Bluetooth headset that nevertheless has a significant battery life. The H1 can (in theory) run for nine hours straight, and if put on standby, power should last about 200 hours. The operating range is 33 feet. Asono further claims that the unit is so comfortable, product testers have fallen asleep without removing it. Interested North American buyers will have to order online for 84 Euros ($105 US).
Late Wednedsay, Bang & Olufsen announced the official launch of its first phone for North America. Named only the Serene, the Samsung-made phone is meant to recall classic rotary phones with its circular keypad and black finish. It also demonstrates the principle of "less is more," according to Bang & Olufsen: in contrast to the abundance of buttons on modern cell phones, the Serene has only a subtle directional pad to navigate its menus. Even so, the compact handset incorporates more recent technology such as Bluetooth and a camera. An aluminum hybrid docking station and charger ships with the phone as well. No official carriers or prices have been announced, though the company says it will sell the phone in its stores, giving interested buyers the option of buying an unlocked device instead of committing to a particular service.
After upgrading both its N-series and ThinkPad lines to Intel's newer Core 2 Duo processor, Lenovo today said it would upgrade its remaining systems in the budget 3000 range. The pictured V100 is the company's low-cost alternative to the ThinkPad X-series and sports a 12-inch, 1280x800 screen but a thicker chassis. In its upgraded form, the V100 will still be equipped modestly at the base level with a 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 512MB of RAM, 80GB hard drive and DVD/CD-RW optical storage; an ExpressCard/54 slot is present for mobile broadband or flash memory cards. Prices will begin at $999 when it ships by the end of October.
Less expensive still is the new C200, a basic model for beginners or those who only need basic mobility. It features the same 1.66GHz processor, RAM, and storage of the V-series but incorporates a less expensive 15-inch, 1024x768 display. The C200 will start at $899 in its Core 2 Duo incarnation. This too is anticipated for a launch in late October.
LG and Samsung have premiered new phones at the Symbian smartphone show, Crave reports. The Joy will be LG's first phone to use Symbian, running OS v9 and S60 third-edition feature pack 1. Physical features will include a 2.4-inch color screen, an expandable microSD slot, and broadband connection through HSDPA (3.5G). Two cameras will be on-board: a 2 MP still camera, and a VGA camera for video communication.
Samsung's SGH-i520 should be very similar to the Joy. It too will use OS v9 and S60 third-edition feature pack 1, as well as HSDPA, a 2 MP camera, and a microSD slot. Where the phones will differ is in the i520's 2.3-inch screen and support for A2DP Bluetooth stereo. Neither LG nor Samsung have announced pricing details on the phones, or when North American versions might be released.
Motorola has produced multiple special editions of its RAZR to commemorate its success, and today it announced two new versions of the phone that it hopes will revitalize its design even as the KRZR gradually replaces it. Both the new V3 Dragon (pictured) and V3 Cherry Blossom are part of the Miami Ink Collection designed by Ami James, a tattoo artist who hosts TLC's Miami Ink show. Each has a laser-etched, pseudo-Japanese design that wraps around the entire outer shell, which is a dark pearl gray in the case of the Dragon model and pink for the Cherry Blossom.
T-Mobile has been chosen as the official carrier for the Miami Ink line, says Motorola, and the new RAZRs will support the network's myFaves feature for quick access to friends and family. Both will be ready as of October 30th. Pricing was not announced but should be in line with existing models.
Although the high-speed 802.11n WiFi specification is not set to become official until 2008, D-Link today released a slew of networking devices built on the initial draft standard. At the core is the Xtreme N Gigabit Router, a three-antenna network switch that can connect at up to 14 times the real-world speed of the current 802.11g standard (which currently connects between 20 and 25 Mbps). The router also has gigabit Ethernet ports for Internet and local traffic so that wired and wireless devices alike can connect at speeds well beyond 100 Mbps. The Gigabit Router is equally notable as the first 802.11n device to offer built-in intelligent quality-of-service traffic shaping, says D-Link. This prioritizes games, video streams, and other low-latency data over less critical connections such as web browsers. D-Link's router is available immediately for Macs and Windows PCs at a price of $200.
Accordingly, D-Link also released a PCI-based Desktop Adapter as well as a PC Card Laptop Adapter for most portables. Both will also ship today for $120 each.
Monster Cable intends to make an aggressive contribution to the Zune accessory ecosystem, according to Electronic House. The home theater firm will have six new peripherals made primarily to connect Microsoft's music player to outside audio and video equipment:
A new photo scanner has just been released by Visioneer that the company believes should make archiving and retouching photos a simple process. As implied by its name, the OneTouch 9520 includes multiple buttons that can automate frequently used scanning methods without requiring that the user delve into the menu system. A bundled copy of Corel's Paint Shop Pro as well as other image editing software should similarly ease the process of restoring old photos. With a 4800x9600 native scanning resolution at 48-bit color, Visioneer says, the resulting scans will be faithful to the originals. A built-in film holder and backlight add the ability to scan 35mm slides and other transparent images. The USB-based photo scanner is already shipping for $200.
On November 10th, Sony will debut its MDR-KX70LW in-canal headphones in Japan, writes ATRACLife. Though not revolutionary in most respects, the headphones will come with a new disc-shaped recoiling mechanism for keeping cords secure and untangled. Other highlights include a gold-plated stereo plug, a carabiner you can hook to belts and bags, and a safety cord designed to attach to Walkmen. The headphones should retail for an MSRP of 6,195 yen (about $52 US) and come in either black or white.
Continuing the spate of 802.11n releases, NEC is preparing the AtermWR8200N, a new router supporting the IEEE draft version of 802.11n. Akihabara News notes that the pyramid-styled router should be capable of a full 130 Mbps and have four wired connections in addition to its broadcast capability. Since the extra performance of the router would be wasted below 802.11n, says NEC, the company will also be offering the WL130NC PCMCIA card. No prices or release dates have been published.
Palm announced today that Canada would receive its first Windows Mobile-based Treo smartphone. Although they have previously received Palm-based Treos and other manufacturers' Windows Mobile devices, Canadians willing to subscribe to Bell Canada only now have access to the Treo 700wx, a newer variant of the 700w that was originially released late last year. The 700wx was first introduced last month through the US carrier Sprint and features double the amount of RAM (64MB) as well as numerous software improvements. Bell Canada users can expect the same EVDO broadband support as their American counterparts. Pricing for the new Treo ranges from $550 CDN with a one-year service to $400 for three years.
Shuttle has put out the SN27P2, an AMD variant (and upgrade) on the company's Intel-based SD37P2 "barebone" case. While deliberately excluding CPUs, disc drives or video cards, the SN27P2's motherboard (a Shuttle FN27) supports Athlon 64 X2 and FX processors, four DDR 2 memory slots for up to 8 GB of RAM, and a PCI Express x16 slot that can handle double-slot graphics cards so long as you don't require the regular PCI port. Up to four SATA hard drives can be combined. The case also comes with a beefy 400W power supply and native gigabit Ethernet support. Cooling is managed through Shuttle's Silent X system, making use of a full four internal fans. To keep cables out of the way in such a small form factor (12.8x8.3x8.7 inches), some are pre-installed and/or clipped to the chassis.
The Japanese supplier BrulÚ has begun carrying a new UMPC that caters to less demanding users. Instead of the more common low-voltage Celeron M and Pentium M processors, the Vega is powered by a 500MHz AMD Geode processor. This affects performance, but has a positive impact on the design, according to BrulÚ. No fan is needed, and with an extended-capacity battery the Vega can run for 5.5 hours while weighing no more than 1.06 pounds. Internet access is limited to a USB WiFi adapter, but the handheld ships with a sizeable 512MB of RAM and a 30GB hard drive. This new UMPC ships from Japan for the equivalent of $1,167 US. If formally released in North America, however, its price should be substantially lower and would undercut the least expensive UMPCs available.
A new variant of ASUS' A8 thin-and-light laptop model was introduced on Wednesday that should appeal more to the average user than the gaming-oriented A8Js. The newer A8Je maintains the 14-inch screen and 1.66GHz Core 2 Duo that defined the previous version, but trades the more advanced graphics for a larger hard drive and a likely lower price. Instead of the expensive GeForce Go 7700, the A8Je uses the more modest 128MB Mobility Radeon X1450 to provide just enough performance for Windows Vista and most 3D games. An 80GB hard drive offers substantially more storage as well. ASUS also promises 1GB of RAM, Bluetooth 2.0, and a built-in VGA webcam. Though available now, pricing is expected to vary by area and by store as ASUS regularly ships custom-configured models for individual resellers.
The biometrics firm Sequiam recently launched a uniquely accessible fingerprint security system. Where most of these locks are part of large-scale networks, the new BioLock is designed to be used on almost any door -- including homes, says the company. Instead of connecting to a central server, the lock is controlled by an LCD panel on its secure side that can register as many as 50 different visitors. Sequiam has also taken care to make the outside as inconspicuous as possible. When not in use, the outside lock resembles only a standard Black and Decker deadbolt lock (physical backup keys are provided); users press their fingers against a hidden reader along the side to gain access. The BioLock is available now for $249, putting the system within reach of most homeowners.
LG used its presence at the Korea Electronics Show to reveal its first true successor to the Chocolate phone, which the company says will have sold over 6 million units by the end of this year. Known as the Shine or SV420, the replacement almost entirely abandons the glossy black of the earlier model for a brushed-metal surface. LG has also implemented a scrolling key in place of the larger directional pad from the Chocolate, clearing room for a larger 2.2-inch LCD. Cosmetics are not the only upgrade, according to LG. The 1.3-megapixel camera of the original has been replaced by a 2-megapixel Schneider-Kreuznach version, while the built-in storage has been expanded to 1GB. Lastly, a movie creation tool named Muvee has been added that can create videos out of photo slideshows with background music.
LG says it will initially release the Shine in Korea under its own Cyon cellphone label; however, the position of the new phone as a Chocolate successor virtually ensures a North American release for carriers such as Verizon, which is the primary carrier of the phone in the US. A gallery of photos is available after the jump, courtesy of AVING.
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